2023: Harnessing Citizen Science to Enhance Native Bee Pollination Services
In the Northeast, high-value specialty crops such as apples, cherries, plums, apricots, blueberries, and strawberries depend on diverse bee populations for fruit production. Ground-nesting species of wild bees dominate the region, but little is known about how to find, manage, and conserve their populations. An interdisciplinary team of extension staff and faculty at Cornell, industry partners, and nonprofit organizations will develop a research program focused on three objectives: (1) develop a citizen science campaign to locate and map nesting sites of native ground-nesting bees; (2) use biotic and abiotic landscape data from existing nest-sites to develop a predictive model to locate additional nesting sites; and (3) pilot novel methods, such as the creation of ground-nesting bee beds, to enhance pollination services in orchards by attracting and translocating available native bee species.
Investigators: Bryan Danforth and Miyoko Chu (Cornell CALS/Lab of Ornithology)